Now that the most incredible season in Cardinal history is over, I present the OFFICIAL Top Ten Cardinal Moments of 2011…..
10. Bases Loaded Nobody Out (May 21): In the Royals half of the Fourth Inning, Jake Westbrook found himself in an early pickle when he allowed Alex Gordon and Melky Cabrerra to reach base. He gambled in pitching around Eric Hosmer and the Royals had bases loaded and nobody out. Jeff “Frenchy” Francoeur came up and hit a comebacker to Jake who started a 1-2-3 Double Play. Billy Butler then grounds to Ryan Theriot at Short to end the threat. Inning over, opportunity wasted for the Royals.
9. Pujols Walk-Off I (June 4): Cardinal-Cub usually rpovide a lot of drama, especially when they are televised nationally and the FOX broadcasters act like sniveling Cub appologists. This game was no exception. Matt Holliday was on the Disabled List and the Cards needed Albert Pujols to step it up. He did just that when he came up in the bottom of the 12th Inning and belted a 2-1 Jeff Samardzija breaking into the visiting bullpen to give the Cards a Walk-Off 5-4 win over their I-55 rivals.
8. Pujols Walk-Off II (June 5): What could top the previous day’s game when it came to late-inning drama? Well…..it didn’t take long to find out the answer because Albert Pujols was up again in a clutch situation – this time, in the bottom of the 10th and guess what? He took Rodrigo Lopez deep with a 426-foot monster shot to left center and gave that Cards their second Walk-Off win against the Cubs in as many days. Big Al finshed that three-game series 6 for 11 with 7 RBI’s.
7. Craig’s Game Winning Hit (October 19): Allen Craig had an unfortunate encounter with the right field wall in Houston that caused him to fracture his knee cap and miss 54 games. In Game One of the World Series, Chris Carpenter pitched six strong innings and was then lifted for a pinch-hitter. Guess who? Allen Craig now found himself squarely on the national stage with an opportunity to be a hero. He didn’t disappoint as he delivered a pinch-hit base knock that scored David Freese (more on him later) and gave the Cardinals (and Chris Carpenter) a 3-2 victory in the Opening Game of the 2011 Fall Classic.
6. Carp Complete Game Shutout (September 28): Chris Carpenter was needed to step up due to the loss of Adam Wainwright to Tommy John Surgery in February. He started out 1-7 and his season appeared to headed down the sewer. Then, he got hot. Then, he got clutch. He reeled off 10 wins in 12 decisions and finished the season 11-9. he saved his best regular season performance for last. Against the Astros in Houston, he pitched a Complete Game Shutout with 2 hits and 11 K’s as the Cards white washed the Houstons 8-0. The real drama, howver, took place in the visiting clubhouse afterwords as the Cardinals (and their fans) did a little scoreboard watching that night and saw the Braves fall to the Phillies 4-3 in 13 Innings, which enabled the St. Louises to advance to the Postseason for the ninth time under the DeWitt regime.
5. Cards Win NLCS (October 16): This was not supposed to happen, but it did. The Brewers were not supposed to crumble in “The House of Horrors”, but they did. The Cardinals won their 18th NATIONAL LEAGUE Championship against a team that had outdistanced them by 6 games to win the NL Central title. The Cardinals, behind Home Runs by David Freese, Rafael Furcal, and Albert Pujols, outslugged the Brewers 12-6 to claim the Pennant. They overcame a rough outing by Edwin Jackson, who gave up 4 Earned Runs in 2 Innings of work. The Bullpen proved to be clutch (again) as Mark “Scrabble” Rzepczynski picked up the win. Freese was named the MVP in the NLCS as he posted a .545 Average with 3 homers.
4. Cards win NLDS (October 7): Winning a Division Series doesn’t guarantee a trip to the World Series, but the finale of this year’s NLDS DEFINITELY had the finale of this year’s NLCS beat for sheer drama. Nine days earlier, Chris Carpenter did what he had to do and got the Cards to the postseason. Their reward? Facing a team a team that was considered by many to be the best team in baseball. The Phillies were supposed to hand the Cardinals their heads, but they didn’t. Chris Carpenter turned in one of his most gutsy performances of 2011 with a Complete Game 1-0 Shutout that bested the Phillies…..and their ace…..Roy Halliday!
3. World Series Game Three (October 22): A lot of talk about Albert Pujols centered around the fact that he hadn’t had a World Series home run since Game One of the 2006 Fall Classic – six games and 19 At Bats ago. He didn’t do himself any favors in the first two At Bats of Game Three as he grounded out and Singled. In the Sixth, however, he silenced his critics as he belted a 1-1 Alexi Ogando offering to deep Left for his first homer of the game, scoring Theriot and Furcal ahead of him. Would he do it again? fans would have to wait long to find out. In the 7th Inning, he belted another homer – this one off of Mike Gonzales to score Allen Craig ahead of him. he wasn’t done yet. He came up for the final time in the 9th and didn’t disappoint as he took a 2-2 pitch from former Cardinal Darren Oliver to deep Left. He tied a World Series that had been set twice by Babe Ruth (1926 & 1928) and once by Reggie Jackson (1977) with his third homer of the game and the Cardinals won 16-7.
2. World Series Game Six (October 27). There have been many classic Game Sixes in World Series history – The “Gets by Buckner” Game in 1986, Kirby Puckett in 1991, and Joe Carter in 1993. What took place in St. Louis on the fifth anniversary of their World Championship in 2006 proved to be no exception. The Cardinals were down to their last strike in the bottom of the Ninth. David Freese took a 1-2 Neftali Feliz offering and Tripled to Right scoring Albert Pujols and Lance Berkman to give the Cardinals a 7-7 tie. In the Ranger 10th, Josh Hamilton hit his first homer of the Series, scoring Elvis Andrus ahead of him to give to the Texans a 9-7 lead. It looked like the Cardinals were done, right? Wrong! Daniel “D-Money” Descalso got things started in the bottom of the 10th with a base knock. Jon “The Chief Justice” Jay followed with a base knock of him. Kyle Lohse made a rare pinch-hitting appearence and moved both runners into scoring position with a groundball to Short. Ryan Theriot hit a weak grounder to Third, scoring Descalso cutting the Ranger lead to one 9-8. Albert was then intentionally walked. The Cards were now down to their final strike again when Lance Berkman delivered a clutch RBI Single, scoring Jay. The game was now tied, the stage was now set. This time, it didn’t take long at all. David Freese led off the bottom of the 11th. He belted a 3-2 Mark Lowe offering into deep Center to give the cardinals a 10-9 win in quite possibly the greatest baseball game ever played.
And…..finally…..at last…..The Number One Top Cardinal Moment of 2011…..
1. The Cardinals Win it All!! (October 28): It almost happened that Game Seven made Game Six seem anti-climactic. The cards spotted the Rangers an early 2-0 cushion. The Cardinals had their clutch 19th Century workhorse, Chris Carpenter on the mound. Would they be denied their place in baseball history? For a brief moment, it looked like the Cinderella speel had worn off. However, in true cardinal character, they came right back with a crooked number of their own in the bottom of the First. In the bottom of the Third, Allen Craig provided more heroics as he took a 3-2 Matt Harrison pitch over the Right Field wall to put the cardinals up 3-2. This time, the Cardinals went ahead for good. They tacked on two in the Fifth and another in the Sixth as Yadier Molina drove a base knock to Center, scoring Lance Berkman. Jason Motte came on in the Ninth and set down the Rangers in order to secure for the Cardinals their 11th World Series title.
There you have it. What do you think?
Happy Holidays from Cardinal Nation.
No, the Red Sox were NOT the first to use the term “Nation” to describe their legion of fans. The term, “Cardinal Nation” was actually coined by Jack Buck and Harry Carray in the 1950’s because on a clear night Cardinal games could be heard over KMOX Radio everywhere from New Mexico to Virginia.
Our two teams are among the most beloved in all of baseball and they share a very special connection. True, they are ranked one and two in number of World Series won. The Yankees have 27 and the Cardinals are Second with 10. The connection I am referring to is shared in that holiest of all baseball shrines…..Cooperstown.
There are eight Hall-of-Famers that have served both the Yankee and Cardinal organizations. They are:
1. Leo Durocher: Started off as a Shortstop with the Yankees with a brief “Cup of Coffee” in 1925 and he was the starter from 1928 to 1929. He was a great fielder, but a terrible hitter – so bad, in fact, that Babe Ruth nicknamed him the “All-American Out”. After three years in Cincinnati, he came to the Cardinals and starred at Shortstop from 1933 to 1937. He was the heart and soul of the Gashouse Gang teams of the 1930’s and also served as manager (and Bronx native) Frankie “the Fordham Flash” Frisch’s captain.
2. Johnny Mize: “Big Jawn” started his career with the Cardinals in 1936 and lasted until 1941. His 43 home runs in 1940 set a cardinals team record that lasted until Mark McGwire hit his tainted 70 in 1998. He ended his career with the Yankees, playing a key utility role for Casey Stengel’s five consecutive champions from 1949 to 1953.
3. Enos Slaughter: “Country starred in the Cardinal outfield from 1938 to 1953. When it was announced that he was being traded to the Yankees in 1954, he sat in front of his locker and cried. However, he was enough of a team player to have played a key utility role in two stints with the Yankees – the first from 1954 to 1955 and the second from 1956 to 1959.
4. Burliegh Grimes: The last legal Spitballer won 32 games in two brief stints with the Cardinals from 1930 to 1931 and again from 1933 to 1934. He finished his career pitching with the Yankees at the end of the 1934 Season, posting a 1-2 record.
5. Dazzy Vance: Dazzy’s two tours of duty with the Yankees – the first in 1915 and the second in 1918 – were unremarkable. He showed precious little control and had a record of 0-3. He pitched briefly for the Cardinals towards the end of his career from 1933 to 1934 and posted a total record of 7-3.
6. Bill McKechnie: Bill played in 44 games at Second Base for the Yankees in 1913, posting a .134 batting average. He would manage the Cardinals from 1928 to 1929. He led the cardinals to the World Series against his old team in 1928, getting swept in four straight games.
7. Branch Rickey: During his long tenure of service with the Cardinals, which spanned from 1918 to 1942, Rickey served as field Manager, Business Manager, and General Manager and became famous (and very rich) as the creator of the modern Farm System. While he was better known for his years as an executive, Rickey did have a brief career as a major league catcher and appeared in 52 games for the Yankees in 1907. He set a dubious record by allowing 13 Washington Sentaors baserunners to steal off him in one game.
8. Miller Huggins: The only Hall-of-Famer to manage both teams, Huggins had a reputation as a scrappy Second Baseman when he came to the Cardinals from the Reds in 1910. He quickly became one of the favorite players of new owner Helene Robison Britton, who inherited the team after her uncle Frank’s death in 1911 and she named him manager in 1913. In an interesting turn of events, he was rebuffed in his efforts to acquire the team after the 1917 Season and he left to manage the Yankees in 1918, staying until shortly before his death in 1929. He was noted for being the manager of the first great Yankee dynasty – “the Murderers’ Row” teams of the 1920’s.
What’s special about being a Cardinals’ Fan?
1. The interlocking “STL” logo is one of the most recognized and beloved in all of sports.
2. The Cardinals are overwhelmingly the team of choice not only in Missouri, but all over the Midwest.
3. The Cardinals have a long and proud tradition of success matched only by the Yankees.
4. The Cardinals are the only team to have won a World Championship in three different CENTURIES.
5. Winter Warm Up is one of the most popular preseason fan gatherings in all of baseball.
6. The Cardinals boast seven living Hall-of-Famers: Lou Brock, Bob Gibson, Whitey Herzog, Stan Musial, Red Schoendienst, Ozzie Smith, and Bruce Sutter.
7. Cardinal players often return to the St. Louis area and become part of the community long after their Cardinal careers are over.
8. Cardinal fans became one of the first multi-state fan bases when the term, “Cardinal Nation” was coined in the 1940’s. Fans from New Mexico to Virginia can follow the action on KMOX.
9. The Cardinals are one of only four franchises to have posted over 10,000 lifetime victories. The Dodgers, Giants, and (unfortunately) Cubs are the other three.
10. The Cardinals are one of only four teams from the old American Association that are still operating to this day. The Dodgers, Reds, and Pirates are the other three.
Right now, the Cardinals are sitting in a precarious position – 4 Games behind the Reds with 36 to play. Before Reds fans start counting their chickens, they need to remember that NOBODY has won ANYTHING yet. Should the Reds fold, their’s will not be the most monumentous collpase in Major League history. There have been other teams who’s pennant hopes have been seemingly secure only to see them get dashed to bits.
So, without furhter adieu, I now present my Prime 9 Greatest Collapses in MLB History:
9. 1934 Giants: The 1934 New York Giants had a 5.5 game lead on September 13. The Cardinals were all but dead. However, The Gashouse Gang, led by The Lip, The Fordham Flash, The Wild Horse of the Osage, and the Brother dean came raring back to take the NL Pennany and then went on to defeat the Detroit Tigers in the World Series.
8. 1962 Dodgers: In an almost identical repeat of the cataclysmic events of 11 years earlier (albeit 3000 miles away), the 1962 Los Angeles Dodgers faded down the stretch only to be caught by the San Francisco Giants on the last day of the season. A three game playoff would be needed to decide the NL Pennant and the Dodgers would, again, lose. The following year, the Dodgers almost blew it again – fighting back a stiff challenge from…..the Cardinals.
7. 1969 Cubs: In 1969, the Cubs looked unbeatable. Their offense was loaded with stars like Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, and Ron Santo. Pitchers, Ferguson Jenkins and Bill Hands were enroute to 20-win campaigns. They had a 9 game lead in August. Then, the bottom fell out of the barrel and they were caught by the New York Mets, who would eventually open up an 8 game lead and would win the first-ever NL Eastern Division title. Of course, we all know the rest of the story.
6. 1964 Phillies: For the first 150 games of the 1964 Season, Gene Mauch had his Phillies on cruise control. with 12 games left, the Phillies had a 6.5 game lead The pennant seemed safely theirs. Not so fast. The Phillies went into one of the most indredible nose dives off all time and the Reds and the Cardinals came raoaring past them. Despite losing two out of three to the Last Place Mets on the season’s final weekend, the cardinals would win the NL Pennant by beating the Mets 11-5 on the season’s final day. Had they lost, they would have finished with the Reds and the Phillies in baseball’s first-ever three-way tie.
5. 1951 Dodgers: In 1951, the Brooklyn Dodgers, with their lineup of Robinson, Snider, Furillo, Campanella, and Hodges looked unbeatable. In August, they had a lead of 13.5 games. In Second were the New York Giants with two 23-game winners, Sal “The Barber” Maglie and Larry Jansen, Alvin Dark, Eddie Stanky, Monte Irvin, and a 20-year old rookie by the name of…..Willie Howard Mays. As the Dodgers were falling apart, the Giants won 37 of their final 44 games and the two teams finished the regular season tied for First Place, but then we all know what happened…..Bobby Thomson and the Miracle at Coogan’s Bluff.
4. 1978 Red Sox: In July of 1978, the Boston Red Sox were in the driver’s seat. They seemed destined to win the AL Eastern Division title. The defending World Champion New York Yankees? They were a wreck. They were in Fourth Place (behind even the Orioles and the Brewers) 14 games out. Things were so bad that Billy Martin was forced out as Yankee manager. But then, at the end of August, the Yankees caught and then passed the Red Sox. The Yankees would fade a bit down the stretch, but they still managed to finish the regular season tied with the Bosox. A one game playoff at Fenway Park was needed to decide the Al East title and, again, we all know what happened…..Bucky F’ing Dent!
3. 2007 Mets: Seemingly recovered from their stinging defeat in the 2006 NLCS at the hands of…..the Cardinals, the New York Mets APPEARED to be in the catbird seat to repeat as NL Eastern Divion Champs. Everything was clicking. They had a 7 game lead with but 12 left to play. But then the Phillies came roaring back. The Mets needed to beat the Marlins on the final day to take the NL East flag. Guess what? They couldn’t do it and the Phillies were crowned NL East Champs for 2007.
2. 2004 Yankees: The Yankees/Red Sox Rivalry had reached its height in 2004. It was the Idiots vs. The Evil Empire. In the 2004 ALCS, the Yankees led 3 games to none, INCLUDING a 19-8 shellacking in Game Three. The Red Sox had their backs to the wall. However, their collapse of ’78 would be reversed as, aided by Curt Schilling’s bloody sock in Game Six and Damon’s Grand Slam in Game Seven, the Red Sox would come roaring back to take the flag. They would then go on to the World Series where the “Curse of the Bambino” would be reversed, but we don’t want to talk about that, do we?
1. 2003 Cubs: The Cubs had just finished polishing off the Atlanta Braves to win their first postseason series since…..you guessed it…..1908! In Game Six, they were leading 3-0 in the Seventh Inning. Moises Alou hits foul ball towards the left field seast. Of course, we all know what happened next – BARTMAN!!!! Alou ends up flying to right. In the Marlins’ eighth, Mike Mordecai leads off by Flying to left. The Cubs are now just five outs away from going to the World Series. Everything seems safe, right? WRONG!!!! The floodgates then open and the Marlins score eight runs in the eighth and end up winning Game Six 8-3, tying the NLCS at three games apiece. In typical Cub fashion, they end dropping the Seventh Game as well, 9-6 even after having 5-3 lead after three innings. The Marlins end up going on to the World Series where they beat the Yankees 4 games to 2. The Cubs? Well…..they are, after all…..the Cubs!
That’s my Prime 9, what’s yours?
Whenever I visit Busch Stadium, among the first things I notice are the flags commemerating ten Cardinal World Championships. I always think to myself that there is something missing. I think the time has come that the Cardinals put up another flagpole and acknowledge the first championship won by the franchise, which was actually won during the 19th Century in 1886 over the Chicago White Stockings (now known as the Cubs) four games to two.
In 1886, the franchise we know and love today as the Cardinals was known as the Brown Stockings and they were charter members of the four-year old American Association. Owned by Chris Von der Ahe, the Brown Stockings were one of baseball’s first dynasties. They were in the midst of a streak that saw them win four consecutive pennants in the brand new “Beer and Whiskey League” as well as the aforementioned 1886 WORLD’S Championship. Their owner was sort of a 19th Century version of Charlie Finley and George Steinbrenner. He had to stockpile his roster with The Game’s greatest players and he made sure that the fans got their money’s worth whenever they came to a game. Their ballpark was a baseball showplace, complete with a beer garden and a racetrack and amusement park next door.
The team was led on the field by First Baseman and Manager Charles “The Old Roman” Comiskey, Third Base Arlie Latham – the original “Base Burglar” (almost eighty years before Lou Brock arrived in The Gateway City), and The Game’s first Canadian-born superstar James Edward “Tip” O’Neil – who would become the franchise’s first triple Crown winner in 1887l. The mainstays of the pitching staff were Dave Foutz (who also played a little outfield besides), “Parisian” Bob Carruthers (so named because he took a trip to France during a holdout before the 1886 Season), and George Washington “Jumbo” McGinnis.
Major League Baseball acknowledges that the “Beer and Whiskey League” was indeed a major league. They also acknowledge that the Cardinals are one of only four organizations to have 10,000 lifetime victories. The Cubs, Dodgers, and Giants are the other three. I think that the Cardinal organization should follow suit. By not acknowledging the forgotten championship, they are depriving the Cardinals of an accomplishment that would make them unque among ALL professional sports franchises.
True, the rules of The Game were vastly different in the 19th Century than they are today, but a win is a win and a season is a season. The Forgotten Championship makes the Cardinals the ONLY franchise in the history of professional sports to have won a World Championship in three different CENTURIES.
Wearin’ of the “Grin”
– Base Ball’s First No-Hitter: July 15, 1876 –
1876 could be considered a watershed year in American History. The policy of military occupation of The South known as Reconstruction was coming to an end. Ulysses S. Grant, the general who defeated The South in the Civil War eleven years earlier, was in the final year of a Presidency that was marred by scandal and corruption. George Armstrong Custer, another hero of that war, who was convinced of his own invincibility, would be proven wrong by the Sioux and the Cheyenne at Little Bighorn. On July 4, the celebration of the 100th anniversary of American independence would be marked by the first great World’s Fair – the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, PA. In St. Louis, Messers Anheuser and Busch began producing what has since become the world’s best selling beer – Budweiser. In New York in February, William A. Hulbert gathered together a group of businessmen and formed what would become the founding organization of Major League Baseball – the National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs.
In St. Louis on July 15, eleven days after our great country would turn 100; another significant event would take place – one that has since become the dream of pretty much every pitcher who has ever picked up a baseball. A large crowd gathered to see the St. Louis Brown Stockings take on the Hartford Dark Blues at Grand Avenue Park. In two previous meetings, the St. Louises would shut out the Hartfords. On the mound that day for Hartford was their brilliant Irish-born right-hander, Tommy Bond. Pitching that day for St. Louis was Pennsylvania native, George Washington Bradley, a perpetually happy fellow who went by the nickname, “Grin”. “Grin” was in the midst of an amazing streak that would result in his throwing 37 consecutive shutout innings.
The game began with Left fielder, Ned Cuthbert striking out. Catcher, John Clapp drove a clean single to center and then reached third on a wild throw by Tommy Bond. Mike McGeary flew out to Right fielder, Dick Higham, driving in Clapp for the first run of the game. Center fielder, Lip Pike flew out to Center fielder, Jack Remsen to end the St. Louis half of the First Inning. The Brown Stockings now led 1-0 on an unearned run. Jack Remsen started off the action for Hartford in their half of the First by striking out. Second Baseman, Jack Burdock reached first on a throwing error by Shortstop, Dickey Pearce and then went to second on a passed ball. Pearce’s error was one of eight on the day for the Brown Stockings. Dick Higham grounded out second to first, moving Burdock to third. Burdock would die at third when Dark Blues’ Third Baseman, Bob Ferguson flew out to Ned Cuthbert in Left. No runs for the Hartfords in the First.
The Second Inning started off with Dark Blues’ First Baseman, Everett Mills catching a fly ball hit by Brown Stocking Third Sacker, Joe Battin in foul territory for the first out. St. Louis Right fielder, Joe Blong drove a clean single to left and then took second as Left fielder Tom Yorke tried to catch the ball. Pitcher, George Washington “Grin” Bradley was the next man up for the St. Louises. He hit a grounder that skipped through the legs of Everett Mills at First. This allowed Blong to trot home with the second St. Louis run of the afternoon. “Grin” would then be erased trying to steal second for the second out of the inning. First Baseman, Herman “Dutch” Dehlman singled to left and then stole second. He would end up dying at second as Dickey Pearce skied to Mills at First to end the St. Louis half of the Second Inning. The Brown Stockings now led 2-0 on two unearned runs. Shortstop, Tom Carey was the first man up for the Hartfords in their half of the Second and he was thrown out easily at first by “Grin” Bradley. Bradley’s opponent, Tommy Bond was up next and he flew out easily to McGeary at second. Two men were now out. The Hartford half of the second would end with Tom Yorke hitting a high fly ball to Joe Battin at third. It was goose eggs again for the Hartfords in the Second as the score remained 2-0 in favor of the Brown Stockings.
The way things turned out that day, those two runs would be the only scores that the St. Louises would need. Over the next seven innings, “Grin” Bradley and his opposite number, Tommy Bond would match each other goose egg for goose egg despite the fact that “Grin” had some sloppy defense behind him.
The next five innings passed by pretty much uneventfully. Although, two Brown Stocking runners managed to make it to Second Base. In the Third, John Clapp doubled to left of the head of Left Fielder, Tom Yorke with one down. He would die at Second as Mike McGeary popped up to Jack Burdock at Second and Lip Pike sent a liner to Yorke in Left for the third out. In the Sixth, Pike reached First when he beat out a grounder to Burdock at Second. He then stole Second, but would die there as Joe Battin went down on strikes for out number three.
Going into the eighth inning, “Grin” Bradley’s consecutive scoreless innings streak had now reached twenty five. The no-hitter was still intact, but Hartford was actually presented with a golden opportunity to score in their half of the eighth. The frame started out with Bradley’s opponent, Tommy Bond grounding out to Second sacker, Mike McGeary. Tom Yorke then reached First on a Base on Balls. He would then be sacrificed to Second on a grounder by Everett Mills to McGeary at Short. Yorke then made it to Third on a Wild Pitch. There, he would remain as Catcher, Bill Harbidge grounded to Pearce at Short who threw it to “Dutch” Dehlman at First for the final out of the inning. Inning over. Threat over. Golden opportunity wasted for the Hartfords.
Joe Battin started things off in the all-important ninth inning by flying to Yorke in Left. Joe Blong was then thrown out at first on a grounder hit to Tom Carey at Short. The final came when Mills caught a fly ball by Dehlman. The St. Louises went quietly in their half of the ninth. Now, it would be the Hartfords’ turn. Jack Remsen started off the Dark Blue ninth by grounding to Dickey Pearce at Short who threw him out at First for out number one. Jack Burdock was up next and he reached First on an error by Joe Battin at Third. This was the last of the Brown Stockings’ eight errors on the day. The Dark Blues had four themselves. Dick Higham was the next man up for the Hartfords and he hit a shot to Battin at Third who made up for his miscue by doubling up Higham and Burdock off First to end the game on a splendid double play. As sloppy as the defense had been for the St. Louises all day, the game ended on a play that would, today, be worthy of an ESPN Web Gem. “Grin” Bradley now had his no-hitter and his place in baseball history.
A while back, I posted a blog entry called, “You Know You’re Really A Cardinal Fan When…..”. One thing that I maybe should have included was “You Know You’re Really A Cardinals Fan When…..You Can List Your Ten Favorite Cardinal T-Shirts.” I don’t know how many Cardinal fans actually have ten Cardinal T-Shirts, but I know I do. So, without further adieu, I now present from the home office in Jefferson City, Missouri…..
The Top Ten Favorite Cardinal T-Shirts in my Collection:
10. Cardinal Hall-of Famers – Lists every Hall-of-Famer that was somehow associated with the Cardinals.
9. Cardinal Nation 2005
8. Soarin’ Again: World Series Champions – Shows the offical logos from all ten of the World Series theCardinals have won
7. Get Real, Cubbies! It’ll Take Another 800 Years For You To Catch Our Current World Championship Total! – I think that says it all.
6. In St. Louis Everyone Knows the Difference Between Dynasty and Wannabe! About 300 Miles and 7 World Championships – a map showing the distance between St. Louis and Chicago is depicted on the back. It’s a wonderful illustration of how great Cardinal baseball IS and how great Cubs baseball ISN’T.
5. Green Cardinals St. Paddy’s Day T-Shirt. I always try to wear it on St. Paddy’s Day in the hopes that the cards will have the “Luck of the Irish” in the upcoming season.
4. 2009 Winter Warm Up T-Shirt
3. 2008 Winter Warm Up T-Shirt – A tribute to Marty.
2. The 2009 NL Central Division Champions T-Shirt – The same shirt that was worn by the Cardinals in the clubhouse right after clinching the division in Colorado.
And finally…..The Number One Favorite Cardinal T-Shirt in My Collection…..
1. Mission October Postseason 2009 – Would have been better if we had gone all the way, but it’s still a nice looking t-shirt.
Well, there you have it. Let me know what you think.
Over the last almost fifty years, the Cardinals and the Mets have developed a rivalry of almost epic proportions. Saturday night’s 20-inning contest is the latest chapter in that soon-to-be epic rivalry. In picking the ten games that stood out, unfortunately, some games that I considered to be classics ended in defeat. Please note that three of the classic games would take place on September 11. So, without further adieu, I now present, in chronological order, the complete list of classic showdowns between the Cardinals and the Mets.
1. April 11, 1962. The first game ever between the Cardinals and the Mets took place at Sportman’s Park before 16,000 on an overcast day. Larry jackson didn’t pitch the prettiest game game in the world, but he did go the distance in an 11-4 win, overcoming home runs by Gil Hodges and Charlie Neal. Stan “The Man” Musial went 3 for 3 that day with 2 RBI’s.
2. October 2, 1964. The Cards are involved in a heated pennant race with the Phillies and Reds. However, their fun is spoiled by the Mets as Al Jackson outduels Bob Gibson in a 1-0 shutout. The Cards would lose the next day as well 15-5.
3. October 4, 1964. The Cardinals would recover from the debacles of the previous two days to take the pennant in an 11-5 win with Bob Gibson coming back on two days rest and pitching 4 innings in relief of Curt Simmons to get the win and veteran Knuckleballer, Barney Schultz getting the save.
4. July 16, 1965. We’ll call this one, “The Winning Ugly Game”. In another battle with Al Jackson, Bob Gibson does not exactly have his A-Game. He goes 7 innings and gives up 5 runs, 7 hits, 1 walk, and strikes out 5 in an 8-5 win over the New Yorkers. He also serves up 4 home runs – 1 each to Charley Smith, Jesse Gonder, Johnny Lewis, and Jim Hickman.
5. September 15, 1969. Steve Carlton is brilliant as he sets a major league record by striking out 19 New York Mets. However, he would end up losing as he surrenders a pair of two-run homers to Ron Swoboda.
6. September 11, 1974. The Cardinals have their backs to the wall at Shea. They are down 3-1 in the Ninth, but tie the game on a two-run homer by Ken “The Zamboni” Reitz. They end up winning the game 4-3 in 25 innings as Bake McBride scores as a result of two infield miscues.
7. September 11, 1985. In a classic contest from the 1980’s, John Tudor pitches his third consecutive shutout and beats the Mets 1-0 in 10 innings. The lone run comes as the result of a Cesar Cedeno home run off Jesse Orosco.
8. September 11, 1987. Two years to the day after Tudor’s masterpiece, The Cards, after being down 4-1 in the Ninth would tie the game up on an RBI base hit by Willie McGee and a two-run homer by Terry Pendleton. They would win 6-4 in 10 innings.
9. October 19, 2006. Game Seven of the 2006 NLCS. The game is tied 1-1 going into the Sixth and is very nearly untied. However, Scott Rolen is robbed of a home run by a brilliant catch by Endy Chavez. The Cards would take the lead 3-1 on a two-run homer by Yadier Molina and would seal the deal when Adam Wainwright struck out Carlos Beltran looking with the bases loaded, sending the Cardinals to their 17th World Series.
10. April 17, 2010. Former Cardinal, Tim McCarver is there to do the broadcast for FOX. Jamie Garcia is brilliant for 7 innings, but he can’t get any run support as the game ends up being scoreless for 18 innings. The Mets get a run in the top of th 19th to take the lead, but the cards come right back in the bottom of the 19th to tie it up on and RBI single by Albert Pujols. The game features two position players taking the mound for the Cards. Felipe Lopez is brilliant in his first-ever big league pitching appearence, not allowing a run. However, the cards lose in 20 innings when the second of the position players, Joe Mather, surrenders a lone run enroute to a heartbreaking loss.
Let me know what you guys think.
After all the hot stove talk. After all the preseason prognosticating. After all the between seasons posting. No more speculating. No more predicting. No more nothing. It’s finally here – Baseball 2010. Actual baseball is actually occuring. I. for one, am geared up for another exciting season of Cardinal baseball. My tickets have been bought for the games I want to go to and I’m also looking forward to another season of watching Jimmy “The Cat” Hayes and the gang on Cardinals Live and dan and Al on the FSN Midwest telecasts. It’s been a long f’ing winter. Spring Training is over. The rosters are set. the fans are ready and rarin’ to go.
On the main message board, I posted the MLB Network’s Prime 9 Moments in cardinals History and then my choices. Here, I am posting what I would consider to be the Prime 9 Cardinal Moments of the 2000’s. They are as follows:
9. Albert Pujols hits his 300th career Home Run – 7/4/2008.
8. Anthony Reyes wins game 1 of the 2006 World Series – 10/21/2006
7. Padres’ Catcher, Mike Piazza drops an Albert Pujols foul pop up. Albert makes the most of a second chance and homers. The Cards win Game 1 of the 2006 NLDS – 10/3/2006.
6. Albert Pujols homers and the Cards win Game 5 of the 2005 NLCS, bringing the series back to Busch for at least one more game – 10/17/2005
5. The Cards beat the Rockies 6-3 in Denver to clinch their sixth NL Central title of the decade – 9/26/2009.
4. The Cards earn their first trip to the World series since 1987 with a 5-2 over the Astros – 10/21/2004
3. Jim Edmunds hits a two out walk off two-run homer in the 12th inning to give the Cardinals a 6-4 win over the Astros in Game 6 of the 2004 NLCS to force a Game 7 – 10/20/2004.
2. The Cards capture their 17th NL Pennant beating the Mets 3-1 on the strength of a Yadier Molina two-run homer – 10/19/2006.
1. The Cardinals win their 10th World Championship behind Jeff Weaver with a 4-2 win over the Tigers. they become the first team since the 1923 Yankees to win a World Championship in their first year in a new ballpark – 10/27/2006.
That’s my Prime 9. What’s Yours?